How old is the world? Hypotheses of the origin of life on Earth


The age of the Earth is called the time that has passed since the emergence of an independent planet Earth. The answer to the question of how old the world is is the age of four and a half billion years. These data are based on studies of meteorite samples that were formed even before the planets began to form.

Earth exploration

In ancient times, concepts such as the age of the entire universe and the age of the Earth had strong differences. The Bible was the basis for assessing the period from the moment of origin and life on planet Earth for Christian philosophers. As a rule, they gave “our home” only a few thousand years of age.

In the first century AD Philo of Alexandria said that it makes no sense to try to measure time from the creation of the Universe by those units that were created after this very creation.

The very first scientific estimate of how old the world is, was assigned by Benoit de Maye in the eighteenth century. Its foundations were based on geodata and their own reasoning, which at that time could not impress anyone. However, he was pretty close to the truth, estimating the age of our world at two and a half billion years.

Other scientists of the time were not so close to the correct data. However, the question of how old the world is, was closed only at the beginning of the twentieth century, when the scientific discovery of the method of radioisotope dating was made.

The age of our solar system

At the present stage, most scientists share the hypothesis of the origin of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. This phenomenon begins with the formation of a cloud of gas and dust by compression in interstellar space. It was likely several light years across. This cloud gave birth to a number of stars, just like our Sun.

The Earth is younger than the solar system and is about 4.54 billion years old. This figure is known due to the radioisotope determination of the age of samples from the surface of the earth and meteorite matter. For example, the mineral zircon, found in Australia, is more than a billion years old. This is due to Claire Patterson, who developed the uranium-lead method. Meteorite samples from both the Earth’s surface and the Moon coincide with this figure, which has not changed since the middle of the 20th century.

How old is humanity on Earth

There are several views on how old humanity is. The most common ones are:

According to this evolutionist theory, the human race dates back to the emergence of Homo sapiens or Homo sapiens, and, accordingly, it is about 200-340 thousand years old. The ancient remains of people found in Ethiopia suggest that the first people appeared on the African continent, and then settled in different parts of the Earth.

However, Homo sapiens was preceded by Homo sapiens, who, in turn, appeared on earth 2.5 million years ago. This is the conclusion reached by scientists who studied the remains of a young Homo discovered in Tanzania, in the Olduvai Gorge in 1960.

The theory of evolutionists is opposed by the views of creationists, who believe that our world, like the human race, is approximately 7.5 thousand years old. In their conclusions, they rely on the biblical version of the creation of the world. Basically, its supporters are religious people and theologians.

The globe originated, like all the planets of the solar system, according to evolutionists, 4.5 billion years ago. This hypothesis is supported by studies of archaeological finds found on Earth. The age of the Earth was established using radiocarbon methods, which are particularly accurate. Geologists determine the date of the beginning of the origin of the world by minerals concentrated in the earth’s crust. But still, scientists are not able to give a 100% answer to the question: how old is our world. The controversy continues to this day, and the issue is still open.

Several theories of the creation of the world

1. Australian Aboriginal theory

Locals believe that when all life on earth was enveloped in sleep, the Father of Spirits woke up by himself and awakened Mother Sun. He ordered her to come down and wake up the planet. Mother Sun did a great job, and the Father of Spirits was pleased. Over time, she gave birth to two children – the Morning Star and the Moon. And they, in turn, gave life to the ancestors of mankind.

2. Heliopolis myth on Earth

The ancient Egyptian myth, according to which, at first there were only chaotically overflowing waters – Nun. Then the sun god Ra appeared from the lotus flower. He created Shu – the god of air, and Tefnut – the goddess of moisture. In this couple, Nut was born – the goddess of the sky and Geb, they created the universe as we know it.

3. Mayan myth

According to the Maya, the earth was raised from the depths of water by the gods-forefathers – Tepeu and Gukumats. They settled it with plants and animals, and then decided to create creatures from the earth that could worship them. Alas, these “people” quickly returned to their original state and turned into mud.

The new “version” was created from wood, but turned out to be silly, and the gods themselves decided to destroy it. The next attempt was from meat. But it didn’t work out with the “meat people” either – they turned out to be evil, and they had to be washed off the ground in a terrible downpour. Finally, the gods tried to create creatures from cornmeal. Kind and humane, they became the ancestors of the Maya.

4. Ainu theory

Representatives of this national minority believe that the earth appeared after oil from the ocean rose to the heavens with a tongue of flame. From the steam, two gods emerged, who descended on five-color clouds. Thanks to the gods and clouds, life appeared on earth, as well as other divine beings.

5. Ranks and Pope on Earth

The Polynesian myth says that the world emerged from a shell – when its doors opened slightly. Above is Rangi’s sky, and below is Papa’s earth. Rangi and the Pope loved each other very much and gave birth to 70 powerful gods who were directly involved in the creation of the world.

6. Pangu

In Chinese mythology, Pangu is the first person with two horns, a pair of fangs and a hairy body to emerge from chaos. He divided the seas, distributed mountain ranges and made the land as we know it today.

7. Proto-Indo-European theory

According to this theory, the primitive creature was sacrificed – killed and dismembered. And from the parts of his body the universe was created. The name of the victim is different in different cultures. In Old Norse myths, for example, she is called Ymir.

8. Myth of the Cherokee Indians

Representatives of this tribe believed that the land was previously just an island in the endless ocean. It hung on four ropes, and there was a sky, but everything was immersed in darkness. Then the sun appeared, which allowed the animals to see their way. For seven days and seven nights, the beasts were to be awake. Some fell asleep, but those who fulfilled all the conditions, God gave the opportunity to see in the dark.

9. The story of the Raven

The raven is found in many myths about the creation of mankind. At the dawn of mankind, there were no stars or moon in the sky at night, and the Raven was the most powerful creature in the universe. He created all living beings, including people. But they all continued to live in darkness. Then the Raven learned that the great leader has a daughter who keeps the sun, stars and moon in boxes, stole her treasures and gave it to humanity.

Radioisotope dating

After this method was sufficiently developed, it turned out that most of the mineral samples are over a billion years old. Small crystals of zircon in western Australia are among the oldest at the moment, at least four and a half million years old.

Their age is four and a half million years. These data allow us to establish how old the world, that is, the solar system, as well as the upper limit of the age of our planet.

One of the hypotheses about the origin of life is the statement that the birth of our planet started shortly after the formation of meteorites and the very nodules. The exact age of the Earth is difficult to determine. Since the exact time of the origin of the planet is unknown. And a variety of theories give from a few to a hundred million.

In addition, it is quite difficult to determine the exact age of the oldest rocks that come to the surface of the planet, since they are composed of minerals that differ in age.

Evolution on Earth

The development of living organisms on our planet began from the moment when the first living being appeared. It happened about three and a half billion years ago. Some data says all four. It continues to this day.

Certain similarities that can be found in all organisms may indicate the presence of common ancestors who gave birth to all living things in our world. At the beginning of the Archean period, the most dominant life forms were Archaea and cyanobacterial mats.

The photosynthesis of oxygen, which appeared about two and a half billion years ago, led to atmospheric oxygenation, which occurred at about the same time period. The earliest evidence for the emergence of eukaryotes dates back to 1.8 billion years ago. Moreover, it is possible that they happened even earlier. Their diversification picked up speed when they began to use oxygen in their metabolism.


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